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Tillerykid
03-06-13, 11:36 PM
Hi Graham and other members, its going to be a lovely day today and my Nikon Micro lens is being delivered (Nikon 105mm f2.8 D series). I've also bought a Nikon SC-28 lead so I can have my Nikon SB600 flash off camera. So to shoot macro (flora) what do I do next PLEASE, e.g. how far do you hold flash from subject, what apertures etc.:confused:

graham_c
04-06-13, 09:47 AM
Hi Tillerkid

On my to get Sigma lens focusing on 1:1 ( true macro) I have to be around 6 inch's from the subject, this can sometimes be almost impossible to achieve , using a focusing rail does help on occasion, this means a tripod though. As for aperture when you get really close the D.O.F gets really blurred. so you need a high number something like F18, if your using flash try F22 or even F32.

I would try a few flowers the move on to bugs. Hope this helps... Graham

Tillerykid
04-06-13, 01:58 PM
Thanks Graham, firstly what is a focusing rail and do you try to clamp flowers if its breezy, what about the flash, I would like to try and black out the background. One more thing I hope you and Wave did not mind m giving my views to TIM about his polarizing problems, I felt guilty as I recommended the Hoya from Amazon.

graham_c
04-06-13, 04:38 PM
Hi. A focusing rail goes between your tripod and a camera, this link will show it. I use it quite a lot for really close macro shots.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Manfrotto-454-Micro-Positioning-Plate/dp/B000JLK5QE/ref=sr_1_15?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1370362532&sr=1-15&keywords=focusin

To get a black background on a photo is easy, set your camera to manual go to f22 with a shutter speed of around 200/ 250, then find a flower that's not got a lot of background something like a Tulip, and take your first shot, everything will be black, then set your flash to manual at full put it over the flower and take your next shot. If it's too bright drop the flash strength a bit, and if it's too dark lower the shutter speed.

I noticed you put a post on Tims thread and thought you made a really good point, and doubt if Wave will be offended... Graham

I don't take a lot of flower macros, if I did I would consider some sort of clamping system, at the moment I try to wait on the wind easing off.

plw1053
04-06-13, 04:38 PM
..just my pennies worth...it almost always necessary to use a tripod for true macro work as the DOF is so small (often millimetres) when using fully open f stop for a blurred background. The other technique when not using a tripod is to sway slightly back and forward holding the camera steady so that you are moving the subject into focus and not having to re-focus. Always manual focus, turn IS off, remote trigger and use delay but I do not use mirror lock up although some recommend it. Also try a ring flash since when you are only inches away any side flash is often redundant. Looking forward to see the results it sounds like a nice lens you will be using. Regards Paul

plw1053
04-06-13, 04:42 PM
..or as they say...there is more than one way to skin a cat....regards

Tillerykid
04-06-13, 06:47 PM
Thanks Graham & Paul, took my first macro today and posted it in competition. Just done it normal and then edited it, very happy with lens bought it second hand from 123 Photographs on Amazon for 370. The seller also has an excellent website for used equipment.

Tillerykid
04-06-13, 08:08 PM
Forgot to tell you Graham, I've ordered 3 books by that author you mentioned.

paulsibley
06-06-13, 10:32 AM
I do mostly flower photography; not always true macro, but generally at least close in. I have the Nikon 40mm macro lens, so have to get very close to the subject to achieve 1:1. I tend to use f/8 or f/9, might go to f/14 occasionally. That does limit depth of field, but I try to use that creatively. I also usually work hand-held as I have mobility problems and often shoot at the garden centre - where the flowers are raised. They're happy for me to take photos, but it might be pushing it a bit to be getting in everyone's way with a tripod. If I want extra lighting, I use one of those LED ring-lights. I would love to have the 105mm macro lens and a proper ring-flash, but they're way beyond my limited budget. I am happy with what I'm achieving with my limited equipment though.

Tillerykid
06-06-13, 11:10 AM
Hi Paul,
Thanks for the advice, I'm going to try my luck at the local allotments. Lots of the gardeners there grow flowers, currently I'm just messing around in our garden. If you did buy a ring flash what would you go for, fortunately my budget is quite good.
Best Wishes
TK

Tillerykid
06-06-13, 11:14 AM
To get a black background on a photo is easy, set your camera to manual go to f22 with a shutter speed of around 200/ 250, then find a flower that's not got a lot of background something like a Tulip, and take your first shot, everything will be black, then set your flash to manual at full put it over the flower and take your next shot. If it's too bright drop the flash strength a bit, and if it's too dark lower the shutter speed.


Hi Graham,
Not quite getting this, the 2 photos have they got to be merged in Photoshop.
Many Thanks
TK

Tillerykid
06-06-13, 11:16 AM
Thanks Paul.

graham_c
06-06-13, 02:30 PM
Hi Can you post a non merged photo... Graham

plw1053
06-06-13, 10:32 PM
slightly off topic but for anyone who enjoys taking macros, I recommend taking a look at the Macro Monday flickr group. There is a different challenge each week with up to two images to be presented on a Monday only. It forces you to re-think strategy and techniques etc...regards Paul

graham_c
14-06-13, 07:38 PM
Hi all sorry for late reply I was (still am) landscaping my garden, while my dear wife went of to a Cliff Richard concert. I don't see much wrong in what your doing Tillerkid, perhaps placing the flash directly over the flower would help a bit, but have noticed a massive improvement in your shots. Thanks for the link Paul I will take a look. Regards ... Graham

Tillerykid
14-06-13, 08:53 PM
Hi Graham, nice to see you back, bet your garden looks great. All my macro shots were edited to get the required effect, I have not used the flash at all because I'm still not sure what to do. "Thanks for your comments"

All The Best

TK

graham_c
15-06-13, 04:50 PM
Thanks Tk, the garden is coming along nicely the problem is I think I'm 21 until I pick up a spade or wheel a barrow then i remember I'm well past 21. I'll put a photo up showing how I use my flash maybe that will give you an idea... Graham

graham_c
15-06-13, 06:11 PM
just put a photo on still life section showing how I set up my camera and flash

Tillerykid
15-06-13, 09:50 PM
Thanks Graham I'll take a look. I done my first flash macro today, I put it in competition and called it "Together". Done indoors as its raining again, I bounced the flash off the ceiling, my setup is flash connected to D600 via a Nikon SC28 cable and flash mounted on a "Joby Gorilla Mini Tripod". The D600 is obviously mounted on a tripod and I release shutter via remote, what I don't get is if I take a pre photo with a small aperture (to black thing out) then a normal shot with flash, where do I go next on the editing "to merge both" I presume. How is this done.
ATB
TK

PS took a look

graham_c
16-06-13, 05:54 PM
Hi
You are using the right set up. I don't merge I use the first black photo as a guide on setting up my flash strength. If I see a faint outline of the flower then I set the flash to a lower setting if it's solid black then |I use more power from the flash. After a while you won't need to bother with the first black image

Tillerykid
17-06-13, 10:17 PM
Thanks Graham, I understand now. Glad you liked Micro Monster, really good program.

paulsibley
25-06-13, 10:31 AM
Hi Paul,
If you did buy a ring flash what would you go for, fortunately my budget is quite good.
TK

Sorry, only just got notification for this reply; and I haven't been too well, so not browsing as much at the moment.

If budget was good enough I would probably go for one of the Nikon ring-flashes. But, if I were in the position to buy that, I think I'd want to upgrade my camera first. My old Nikon D60 does have its limitations.

Tillerykid
26-06-13, 11:13 AM
Get well soon.
ATB
TK

graham_c
26-06-13, 08:06 PM
Hope you are feeling better. I also have a D60 it's a great camera but getting a bit long in the tooth... Graham